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Benue News

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and his Taraba State counterpart, Architect Darius Ishaku have taken steps to curb criminal activities in communities along the border of the two States.

The two Governors yesterday led their various executive and security councils to a joint security meeting at the Federal University, Wukari where useful deliberations were made to combat the criminal activities including kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry.

Governor Samuel Ortom reiterated the need for people of the two states to ensure peaceful coexistence especially at the border areas and to expose criminal elements within their vicinities.

He lamented the spate of kidnappings in the two states, pointing out that but for the cordial working relationship that existed between him and his Taraba counterpart, the insecurity in the area would have been worse.

The Governor appealed for restraint even as he urged the communities not ro embark on reprisals on either side, saying doing so would only expose the innocent members of the affected communities to untold hardship.

He stated that he and his counterpart were endangered specie as a result of their stand for justice and the sanctity of the constitution of the country adding that it would be unwise for the people of the two states to take arms against one another for whatever reason.

Taraba State Governor, Architect Ishaku had earlier decried the spate of criminality in the southern parts of his state which shares boundary with Benue State.

He identified community based intelligence gathering and collaboration among security agencies and all stakeholders as the panacea to the criminal activities in the area.

Governor Ishaku also acknowledged the efforts of the two state governments to create employment opportunities for the youth as a way of discouraging them from engaging in criminality adding that such will be sustained.

The Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse and the Aku Uka of Wukari, Dr. Shekarau Angyu, represented by Tor Kwande and Garan Donga, Chiefs Ambrose Iyortyer and Stephen Bayonga, restated the commitment of the traditional institutions to help combat criminality in their domains.

Former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, and other speakers from the two states suggested the constitution of security committees with membership drawn from among the various communities to identity and expose criminal elements among other steps as solutions to the insecurity in the two states.

Governors Ortom and Ishaku later visited Abako and Sai in Benue and Dogon-Gawa in Taraba where they preached peace to the communities, saying they have a bigger and common enemy which was insecurity and should not be fighting among themselves.

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Benue News

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, commiserates with the family of the late Aper Aku on the passing of the former First Lady, Mrs Victoria Aku, at a private hospital in Makurdi yesterday.

He says she was a dependable pillar of support to her husband, the late Governor Aper Aku, who bequeathed lasting legacies to the people of the state during his tenure.

Governor Ortom describes the deceased as a humble and unassuming daughter of the state who cherished farming to the very end of her life.
He prays that God would grant her loved ones, the entire family and the good people of the state the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss as well as grant her soul peaceful eternal rest.

Tahav Agerzua,
Special Adviser, Media and ICT.

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Benue News
Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday inaugurated an Ultra-Modern ICT Centre built and furnished by his wife, Dr. Mrs. Eunice Ortom at the Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Gboko.
The Governor while inaugurating the facility promised to supply additional Computer sets to fill up the Centre and announced a donation of Five Million Naira on behalf of the State Executive Council to aid its furnishing. He said he was challenged by the gesture of his wife to contemplate mobilising support for his alma matter, Saint John’s Secondary School Gboko where he spent some years for his post primary education. Governor Ortom stated that it was heartwarming for people especially those in privileged positions to give back to their alma matter in appreciation of the schools for playing a key role in moulding their intellectual and individual characters for self actualisation. The Governor who said his administration has placed high premium on educational development of the State, applauded the Proprietor of the Queen of the Rosary Secondary School for ensuring that it maintained high discipline and academic excellence in the State. According to Governor Ortom, both Students and Old Students should count themselves lucky to have graduated from the Secondary School. He acknowledged the Principal role the Catholic church had been playing in the State especially in the area of education and health, even as he congratulated his wife and all Old Girls of the School who supported her to renovate the ICT Centre. He expressed commitment to doing the bidding of People of the State far and above his personal ambition and sued for their understanding and support to succeed especially in ending the herdsmen killing. In a remark, wife of the Governor, Dr. Eunice Ortom said the building and equipping of the ICT Centre with support from some of her school mates was to appreciate the school that made her what she is today. Dr. Mrs. Ortom who promised to team up with others to do more for the school and urged the management to ensure proper maintenance of the ICT Centre for it to benefit the students and those coming after them. By Charles Iornumbe
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Benue News
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has eulogised the outgoing Chief Judge of the state, Justice Iorhemen Hwande at his valedictory court session at the Makurdi High Court today. He also expressed support for the autonomy of the judicial and legislative arms of government. Governor Ortom described Justice Hwande as a great, humble, God fearing and erudite jurist, who had an outstanding career in the Benue State judiciary. “Mr. Justice Hwande rose through the ranks with an impeccable service record to become Chief Judge of Benue State, a position in which he served the state for 11 years,” he stated. “He sustained the reputation of the State judiciary as one of best in the country through sacrificial, honest and exemplary leadership which impacted positively down the line.” Governor Ortom reiterated his commitment the doctrine of separation of powers and pledged not to interfere with the work of the judicial and legislative arms of government and expressed support for their autonomy. The Governor had organized a state banquet for the Chief Judge the night before the valedictory court session. Justice Hwande appealed to Governor Ortom and his colleagues to repose confidence in the judiciary by granting it autonomy at the state level. He called for the appointment of Chief Judges to serve at the Supreme Court stressing that emphasis should be placed on competence and integrity rather than geographical spread. The retiring Chief Judge expressed appreciation to his colleagues, judicial staff and the Governors under whom he served for creating an enabling environment for him to record a successful tenure.  
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Benue News
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has flagged off a rural road to link communities in Guma, his home council area, with those of neighboring Awe local government area in Nasarawa State. Performing the flag off ceremony on his behalf today, Special Adviser Rural Development and Cooperatives, Dr Adzer Abya, handed over the contractor to the community so that the work could commence. His colleague on Politics and Inter-Party Affairs, Mr Saawuan Tarnongu, assured the people of the area who have suffered incessant attacks from herdsmen that the Anti-Open Grazing Law would be implemented to the letter. He spoke at Tse-Ortom, in Guma where the construction of the 28 kilometer Tse-Ortom – Tse-Iordye Akaahena feeder road which extends to Nasarawa state, commenced. Mr Tarnongu appealed to the people to avoid any acts capable of jeopardizing the implementation of the law which he said had received the endorsement of majority of Nigerians. Special Adviser on Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Alhaji Isah Usman, who led the Committee on sensitization visits to selected leaders in the Northern states said no one kicked against the Anti-Open Grazing and Ranches Establishment Law during their visits. In a welcome address, Guma Local Government chairman, Mr. Anthony Shawon, said the poor condition of the road had been a hindrance to the tracking down of criminals in the area by security personnel. He urged the people not to take the law into their hands but rather report cases of infringement on their rights by herders to security agencies for appropriate action. Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Matthew Mnyam, encouraged the people of Guma to be proud of their son as the world was celebrating him for enacting and implementing the Anti- Open Grazing Law. He expressed appreciation to the people for their patience with the Ortom administration, and called on the youths to form cooperative societies in order to access loans from financial institutions and other benefits from the Social Investment Programme of the All Progressives Congress, APC led-administration. District Head of Nzorov, Chief Gwatse Akaahena, assured the contractor of the safety of his equipment and staff as the community would provide security for them. Responding on behalf of the contractor, the Project Manager of Dan Ella Global Business Limited, Engineer Samuel Agbatar, said the company had been mobilized to execute the project, and promised to complete the job on schedule in accordance with specifications.
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Awards/Endorsements
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom says engaging in humanitarian service to put smiles on the faces of people gives him fulfillment.
Governor Ortom stated this today in Makurdi when he received the award of ‘Defender of the Disadvantaged’ at the 2016 Annual Awards organised by the Catholic Star newspaper in collaboration with Catholic Media Professionals, Radio Benue, Harvest FM and NTA Makurdi. He said he was motivated to embark on humanitarian services when he met a young man many years ago who was bitten by a snake but had no money to seek medical attention. Governor Ortom said the society could only become a better place when those whom God has blessed assist the less privileged, assuring that he and his family will continue to do things that could make life worth living for fellow human beings. On the issue of salaries, the Governor said he understands the difficulties workers of the state are facing as a result of the delay in payment of salaries, promising that his adminstration will ensure that all outstanding wages are cleared as soon as funds are available. “I feel the pains of our workers and I want them to know that the current financial situation is not limited to Benue State. Many other states cannot pay salaries as we speak. But I am confident that God will soon provide a solution to the challenge”, he assured. Governor Ortom reiterated the position of the Benue State Government on grazing reserves, stressing that the bill for ranching of cattle will soon be sent to the State House of Assembly as the state has no land for grazing reserves. Earlier, Chairman of the occasion and former governorship candidate in the state, Professor Daniel Saror, condemned the attacks and killing of innocent people by herdsmen in parts of the state. Professor Saror congratulated Governor Ortom and other awardees on the honour done them and prayed God to enable the Governor handle the challenges confronting the state. Other recipients of the awards were Reverend Father Christopher Utov, Architect Asema Achado, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, Mr Julius Atorough, Reverend Father Kuha Indyer, Miss Favour Ada Paul, Mrs Theresa Atser-Iwail and Mr Audu Danlamin David.
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